The Ron Paul Vote

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It'll be weeks before we know exactly how many votes were cast for which candidates. Two Senate seats and a bunch of House seats are still too close to call because of the outstanding ballots. But I don't think there are too many outstanding votes for third party presidential candidates. How'd they do?

Bob Barr (LP): 490,689 votes. Only around half of what the campaign had hoped for, and had expected given its efforts in a bunch of close states. It's the second-best Libertarian presidential performance of all time, better than Harry Browne's two runs or than Ron Paul's run in 1988, but well behind Ed Clark's 921,128 votes in 1980.

Ralph Nader (Various Parties): 661,736 votes. A huge letdown for him, too, given the improved organization and ballot access he achieved this campaign. It's his second-worst performance in four runs for president, worse even than 1996, when he got 685,297 votes with a "non-campaign" on fewer state ballots. That year he scored 237,016 votes in California. This year he scored less than 90,000, even though Barack Obama was winning the biggest Democratic landslide there since FDR beat Alf Landon. Overall Nader got fewer votes than Eugene McCarthy in his forgotten 1976 run. I'd say something like this plus his racial attacks on Barack Obama mean "his career is finished," but when a guy's determined to become as relevant as those Jimmy Buffett for President bumper stickers there's not much you can do.

Chuck Baldwin (Constitution Party): 175,868 votes. Despite the Ron Paul endorsement, this is only the second-best Constitution Party performance ever: In 1996, Howard Phillips got 184,820 votes. The difference was in Alan Keyes, who stole the party's California ballot line and scored more than 30,000 votes there. (This doesn't include write-in votes, though, and even Paul himself had to write Baldwin in on the Texas ballot.)

Cynthia McKinney (Green Party): 142,865 votes. Only slightly better than the party's abysmal 2004 performance, which was hindered by Ralph Nader's decision not to run, then his decision to run, then his decision to atack the Greens when they didn't nominate him.

Ron Paul (Various Parties): 19,852 votes. We don't know how many write-in votes he got yet, but that's what he pulled by being on the ballot in Montana and Louisiana.

So if you add together Paul with the four candidates he gathered at the National Press Club to endorse (and include Barr, who was invited), Paul's favored candidates got around 1.5 million votes. In a historical perspective, that's… not that impressive, still. Ralph Nader got almost twice as many votes in 2000, and John Anderson got almost four times as many in 1980. It's a bigger third party vote than 2004, but not by much.

Why was this if everyone told the pollsters they were furious with the way the country was going and hated the two parties? I'd say it's because there was a Democrat and a Republican that people basically liked, but that wouldn't explain why 1988 third party voting was so low. I'm not hearing any of this discussed in the rest of the media, so Bob Barr's complaint from Ron Paul's presser rings true: The way to keep attention on libertarian political arguments was to consolidate behind one candidate. For all of Paul's flaws, his totals in Montana and Louisiana indicate that he probably could have run a Nader 2000-style campaign and gotten about Nader's 2.8 million votes.

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103 responses to “The Ron Paul Vote

  1. Third party candidates got combined only about 1.3% of the vote. Only 13 out of 1000 voters voted for real change (the quality of which may be debatable, but at least there was a genuine promise of change) over the establishment. Despite the fast that the establishment has one of the lowest approval ratings ever. This was precisely the reason why I was so depressed, watching the election results rolling in…

  2. Exactly what I expected … it may have been different had we had two candidates that were basically lousy and uninspiring to the masses … the media-fed Obamamania dampened enthusiasm for any “change” outside of the two-party tyranny in America.

  3. You do realize that comparing third party vote totals to past elections is only relevant if you assume the same or essentially similar electoral structure between now and then.

  4. so Bob Barr’s complain from Ron Paul’s resser rings true:

    huh?

  5. Does anybody else watch this stuff and think that it reminds them of the beginning of a thiller, or a movie about a popular official that becomes a ruthless dictator? It’s not that bad yet, I know, but what’s that line from Star Wars?
    “So this is how liberty dies… with thunderous applause”

  6. Does anybody else watch this stuff and think that it reminds them of the beginning of a thiller

    I don’t watch. If you stop watching this stuff for a while, you lose your tolerance for their self-aggrandizing bullshit, and it’s unspeakably painful to watch them any more. I turned on the TV for Obama’s victory speech, and was repulsed by his obvious egomania and self-satisfaction. If I watched this stuff all the time I probably would have glossed over that.

  7. If the LP can get a guy who is a more believable/trustable/likable advocate of individual liberty than Barr then they could get more votes…having RP support a hackish barr would have resulted in more votes, but it also would have entreched Barr as a big shot in the LP which is bad because he has a big track record of being a neo-con….half the libertarians are very averse to supporting a guy with that kind of track record.

  8. “repulsed by his obvious egomania and self-satisfaction”

    I felt a chill at the same thing. He seemed so energized by the power, and not a bit humbled by the responsibility.

  9. If the LP can get a guy who is a more believable/trustable/likable advocate of individual liberty than Barr then they could get more votes…

    Harry Browne was all of those things… and he didn’t get more votes… (twice…)

  10. Dave, proofread you posts!

  11. Well we tried “believable/trustable/likable advocate of individual liberty” and “recognizable name with credible experience”

    Neither worked on their own. It seems like the union is a white whale.

  12. I wonder how many libertarians voted for Obama. And by Libertarians I mean insipid koolaid drinking assholes.

  13. I do wish to add that in Alaska, Chuck Baldwin was not listed as “Constitution Party” but rather “Alaska Independence”. The was accompanied by an email endorsement by Paul for the AIP candidate for Senate, Bob Bird.

    Did anyone else experience this?

  14. Bob Barr’s complain from Ron Paul’s resser rings true:

    Rob Rarr’s romplain rom Ron Raul’s resser rings rue?

  15. I felt a chill at the same thing. He seemed so energized by the power, and not a bit humbled by the responsibility.

    Not only that, but he seemed to be radiating “THIS IS MY BIRTHRIGHT”. Creepy.

  16. No one knows, of course, how an Independent Ron Paul would have fared, but it would have been fun and he certainly would have stood tall against the two numbnutz when the financial crisis hit.

  17. Rob Rarr’s romplain rom Ron Raul’s resser rings rue?

    rucking hirarious…

  18. It’s interesting that there are three current or former members of Congress on that list. Including Obama and McCain, that means five current or former members of Congress were on the November presidential ballot in some or all states.

  19. That has to be a record.

  20. I don’t see how claims of media bias and an unlikable candidate explain things. To the extent that the goal was to strip off (primarily) Republican voters, Obama media bias would be helpful (it would repulse Republicans). Moreover, the notion that the public is being prevented from recognizing its true self-interest by the entrenched media elite sounds kinda Chavez-ish, if you know what I’m saying.

    And from a base Republican viewpoint is Bob Barr really more unlikable than John McCain?

    Similarly, the notion that only unappealing major party candidates will yield significant third party votes is not supported by the facts. Consider Ed Clark in 80 and Nader in 2000. The dynamic is clearly more complex.

    Ballot access is always an issue, but not enough to explain the poor performance. Was it insufficient publicity/stumping/etc.? Was it — dare I say — Palin, who energized McCain’s campaign? (Although would those energized by Palin really have otherwise voted for Barr?)

  21. It’s kinda sirry
    But not rearry
    Because its firring my body with rage
    I’m the smartest most crever most physically fit
    But nobody else seems to rearize it…

  22. I predicted they’d get a combined 1.31% of the vote, but I miscalculated by assuming my mom would vote; she didn’t…threw my numbers off.

  23. Why don’t you know about write-ins yet!? GET TO WORK!

  24. three current or former members of Congress on that list.

    Senate: Obama & McCain

    House: Barr, Paul, & McKinney

  25. I figure that if Harry Browne could not do it, nobody can. I’m very sad to conclude that some very large galaxies would have to line up just right for a limited government 3rd party to make much of a splash.

  26. Lester,

    Proofread your posts!

  27. Actually, all of the write in candidates and mail in ballots received election day are still being counted in California, and since Ron Paul and Baldwin were both registered write in candidates there, their tallies may change. The others were on the ballot, so theirs shouldn’t change – at least from that source.

  28. I don’t know – Ron Paul had enough support to make a decent splash if he had decided to go the 3rd party route. Why didn’t he hook up the the LP anyway?

  29. “Why was this if everyone told the pollsters they were furious with the way the country was going and hated the two parties? I’d say it’s because there was a Democrat and a Republican that people basically liked, but that wouldn’t explain why 1988 third party voting was so low.”

    Maybe it’s because the third party candidates are all boring old dorks who couldn’t organize lunch. Never discount the wisdom of the people.

  30. The LP needs to recruit someone who can be seen by the general public as presidentibili. Ideally, that someone will have served in some responsible post, such as state governor or federal Senator. Experience seems to show that mere members of the U.S. House don’t attract enough attention. A former General or Admiral might work, or a prominent enough business leader. Ross Perot managed to temporarily lead the polls in 1992, by dint of his immense wealth and his personal mojo earned by, among other things, sending Arthur D. “Bull” Simons to get 2 of EDS employees out of the ayatollahs’ Iran, and by serving on the Texas “Select Committee on Education.” Remember, there was interest (ginned up, or not) in drafting Perot well before he announced.

    Now, where could the LP find such a worthy, who actually agrees with some significant portion of libertarian ideals? Said avatar of freedom would have to realize that he’d be in the game for the purpose of building the party at the grass roots level, and stood little or no chance of defeating the Ds and Rs.

    Danged if I know where such a secular saint would come from.

    Kevin

  31. …his totals in Montana and Louisiana indicate that he probably could have run a Nader 2000-style campaign and gotten about Nader’s 2.8 million votes.

    I think he would have done substantially better than that. He earned over 2% of the vote in Montana, without even running a campaign, and trying to get his name removed from the ballot.

    Ron Paul topped 10% in the primaries in over a dozen states, and brought in over one million votes. Assuming his appeal was about equal among Republicans, independents, Democrats, and third party types, the low end would have been around 3 million votes.

    With general election turnout being much higher than in the primaries, he might have pulled 2 or 3 times that many.

    And his primary campaign was, charitably, not very well run. Given another 9 months for his supporters to get organized and raise gobs of money, who knows what might have happened?

    Ron Paul has improved tremendously in his television appearances since last year, looking and sounding much more like a wise elder statesman and a lot less like your eccentric uncle. He’s become a solid spokesman for rational economic policy in the face of a government that is slipping not so slowly into fascism and socialism.

  32. Is Lefiti = joe? already been asked?

  33. I wonder how Doug Stanhope would have done. Would have been more amusing at least.

  34. kevrob,

    A certain former governor of New Mexico
    The CEO of BB&T

    Thats about it for meeting your standards and the 2nd is shaky.

  35. Now, where could the LP find such a worthy, who actually agrees with some significant portion of libertarian ideals?

    T.J. Rodgers…?
    Gary Johnson (please…)?

    that’s all I can come up with. damn.

  36. Why was this if everyone told the pollsters they were furious with the way the country was going and hated the two parties?

    This was true for me, but I didn’t like the third party candidates either and therefore didn’t cast a vote for President at all.

  37. Including Obama and McCain, that means five current or former members of Congress were on the November presidential ballot in some or all states.

    And the one with the least experience in Congress won.

  38. Never discount the wisdom of the people? Well, I suppose that means you support the anti-gay initiatives this election and the wise people who’ve elected and supported dictators in many countries. Tyranny by the mob is no less distasteful than tyranny by the few.

  39. Allison (the ceo of BB&T) is only 60 and is retiring Dec of 2009.

    Hmmm…..

  40. Kevrob
    What about John Mackey?

  41. What about John Mackey?

    yeah, him + Rodgers or Allision… the “CEO Clean-Up Crew” ticket… that would be fun times (ain’t gonna happen… but a boy can dream…)

  42. But he’s perfect.
    He donated his stock portfolio to charity and his business is routinely rated as one of the best places to work, he has libertarian principles, is a vegetarian, and is looking for a cause bigger than money – how much more perfect and wide-appealing can a libertarian candidate get? Nobody can point to him and say that he’s a greedy S.O.B. who, since he doesn’t like unions, doesn’t care about his employees and is part of a big irresponsible corporation blah blah blah
    He’s the anti-sterotype libertarian

  43. He’s the anti-sterotype libertarian

    yeah, G. Johnson/J. Mackey would be an awesome ticket too…

  44. kinnath | November 6, 2008, 1:53pm | #

    three current or former members of Congress on that list.

    Senate: Obama & McCain

    House: Barr, Paul, & McKinney

    Obama and McCain were not on that list, because they aren’t third party candidates. I mentioned them in the overall total of five in the next sentence of my post.

  45. Mr. Singleton is right. Apples for apples.

    Browne ’96 .5%
    Browne ’00 .4%
    Badnarik ’04 .35%
    Barr ’08 .4%

    svf and domoarrigato are also right. I say this from experience, for I was on the staff of Harry Browne’s 2000 campaign. The 3rd party idea has been falsified — found wanting.

  46. I thought of another record this election: There were three African Americans and one Arab American (Nader) with significant ballot access in November running for president. In fact, on my California ballot, of the six people listed (Obama, Nader, Barr, McCain, McKinney, Keyes), only two (McCain and Barr) were white guys. This has to be the first time that the majority of candidates in California (or any other state) weren’t white.

  47. only two (McCain and Barr) were white guys.

    How did he allofasudden become White after leaving Congress?

  48. Ron Paul could have gotten more votes than Bob Barr but he wouldn’t play ball. even if were to argue he couldn’t run because 11 states forbid it because of running in the GOP primary he could have been the VP of the ticket in those states. we did pretty good, a hell of a lot better than in 04, not necessarily in terms of votes but in getting the message out. maybe next time the LP will be smart enough to draft Paul and get into the debates.

  49. I think Ventura is right in that getting in to the debates is key. We know all about third parties because we seek out the information. But Joe and Jane Sixpack don’t. The only way they’ll get it is if it is introduced to them by major media sources. But if you got your news from primarily MSM sources (on both TV and the internet) all you would have been exposed to is two candidates who pretty much agreed on every issue.

    No doubt the unattractiveness of the third party crop this year also played a role. You can’t minimize that. Barr is as unlikeable and surly as Nader. I don’t think there is any question that a vintage 1996 Harry Browne with the internet at his disposal and a Ron Paul wind at his back would have brought home the biggest LP total in history this time around. So even with the inherit establishment biases, things are getting better, and with the right candidates there is hope.

  50. I agree, debate access is vital (but probably would have killed Wayne A. Root).

  51. anyone catch that libertarian George Phillies got 509 votes. guess there actually was someone who could get less votes than Amondson and the Prohibition Party lol

  52. I have nothing funny or intelligent to say.

  53. I’ve long thought the Presidential race is an unrewarding drain on the Libertarian Party. It would do better concentrating on winning offices at the grass-roots level.

    A friend of mine, a Libertarian, just got elected to my local city council. It helped that he is moderate and is well known around town from a long history of community service.

  54. Mike,

    I think the LP could also do a lot more if it focused on Congress. It’s not unusual for Congressional incumbents to face little or no opposition in any given election. Why not go after those seats? A few actual Libertarians in Congress would do a world of good. Ditto for state legislatures.

  55. Another benefit of concentrating Libertarian Party activity at the state or even county level is that a new culture tolerant of diverse libertarian thought could grow inside the party, without so much fighting about absolute agreement on one true platform. Regions like Texas and the South could promote their more conservative variant of libertarianism, while regions like Northern California could promote a more liberal variant.

  56. domo: Lefiti got outed as Edward a while back. You can still play with it, just be sure to wash your hands after.

  57. Stanhope ROCKS. Go see his shows (don’t bring the kids, though) because they’re HILARIOUS. He’s also great on Stern.

  58. I agree that Ron Paul could likely have received more votes than all other alternative candidates combined. I look at results in my own County, for example, and the “WRITE-IN” number, which won’t be broken down by specific candidates for several weeks, was about the same as Bob Barr’s. I suspect that the lions share of those votes went to Paul, who was a write-in candidate here in California. How much more support would he have received, had his name actually been printed on the ballot?

    I disagree with the idea (mentioned by a thread commenter, above), that the LP needed a more likable or impressive candidate than Bob Barr to score a better vote total this year. That is to say, yes, more likability and impressiveness wouldn’t have hurt, but I think the LP candidate would have had to be exceptionally charismatic and teflon-coated from head-to-toe — not to mention supported by a campaign warchest amounting to the several tens of millions of dollars, at least — in order to do much better than Barr. I think the alternative-candidate slice of the POTUS vote pie was pretty small this year, and Barr maximized the LP’s share of it. To do significantly better, he would either have to brightly outshine one or both the major candidates in the eyes of THEIR OWN VOTERS, or bring enough new, previously disaffected voters to the party, who could inflict severe electoral damage to the two-party system. Either situation would, I think, require a “once-in-a-century” class of candidate. As I saw it, Barr was good, but not incandescent.

    On the other hand, I must say that I really enjoyed not having to convince people that “my guy” was actually qualified for the job of POTUS. Barr’s 8 years in Congress and clear positions on many weighty issues eliminated that whole battle, which is how I have spent most of my persuasive time in other election years. From now on, we really need to run candidates whom EVERYONE can see doing the job of POTUS, even though they may be more or less qualified than other candidates running against them. It would help if our next candidate could point to endorsements from other qualified people who might be willing to serve on the libertarian President’s cabinet.

    I think Barr needed more money, 50-state ballot access (not so much for numbers as for the enhanced “legitimacy” that confers on a candidate), and a place on the debate stage, to give people the “permission” to vote for him instead of one of the two “main” candidates.

    I cannot disagree more that the “third party strategy has been tested and found wanting.” We may or may not be able to displace one of the existing major parties. But unless those parties have someone around who is strong enough to DENY THEM ELECTION, they will never come around to our way of thinking. The LP simply must start winning more in races for higher office. For the next two years, I think we have to focus on electing at least one Libertarian, and hopefully more, to major statewide office or the House of Representatives. Perhaps it is folly to propose that, but after watching third-party elections for almost 30 years, I can’t see any other way forward, at the moment.

    I also disagree that the LP should not run a POTUS candidate. Because of various election laws around the country, the POTUS run is important for LP ballot access that benefits all of the party’s candidates. If the LP would get its act together and coordinate POTUS-candidate appearances with those of local and regional LP office-seekers, they could get more visibility, especially in terms of “free media” coverage, which would more than repay the expenses of the POTUS campaign.

    Finally, I note that, as results continue to stream in, Barr is now credited by CSPAN/AP with 491,945 votes. When all the counting and recounting is done, the chances for topping 500,000 look good.

  59. I agree that the LP shouldn’t stop running a presidential candidate, but they can’t do just that and not emphasize Congress and state offices as well. In practice, it seems like that’s how things have played out.

    I also think the LP could align itself a little more with the RLC and other groups that generally have the same goals.

  60. Another benefit of concentrating Libertarian Party activity at the state or even county level is that a new culture tolerant of diverse libertarian thought could grow inside the party, without so much fighting about absolute agreement on one true platform. Regions like Texas and the South could promote their more conservative variant of libertarianism, while regions like Northern California could promote a more liberal variant.

    http://freestateproject.org/

  61. Those interested should googol [“John Mackey” AND rahodeb].

    I’d quit my job to work for a Gary Johnson campaign, if I had a job. Now, if only a Koch-like wealthy VP candidate who is exempt from the campaign spending laws were willing to throw away his fortune….

    J.A. Merritt is right about the importance of the Presidential campaign to ballot access. Ideally, the Prez/VP ticket acts as an organizing tool for recruiting candidates for lesser offices, and the local parties only spend money on campaigns where they actually hope to get some votes. There’s a term of art in the LP: “paper candidate.” That’s one who appears on the ballot, but doesn’t really campaign, or only participates in such activities that don’t cost any money. Fundraising and organizing are targeted. The local members might decide to train their guns on a non-partisan city council seat or a state assembly race where one of the two official parties isn’t contesting the race.

    The presidential race is really just spadework meant to familiarize the electorate with libertarian ideas and the LP brand.

    Kevin

  62. As one of the Chosen 490,689 I would like just like to point out that unless you cast a protest vote in a safe state you are actually voting against your favored policies.

    I would like to see the LP endorse a major party. In this era of close elections, they could play kingmakers, giving one party a couple percent edge in exchange for concessions, and finally get some goddamn progress on issues like the godforsaken WOD.

  63. Talldave…

    I could see the LP endorsing individuals like Rep. Flake, and while I find your idea intriguing I could see it being troublesome most of the time.

  64. need a few more than 500k to be a kingmaker, Tallness.

  65. Those interested should googol [“John Mackey” AND rahodeb].

    bah, compared to Rev. Wright, Bill Ayres, Keating Five, and Palin’s gaffe-a-thon, “rahodeb” wouldn’t even be worth mentioning.

    hell, even Ron Paul’s nutty newsletters barely registered in the MSM.

  66. Art,

    True, but if we just siphon votes away from the candidates we tend to agree with more, we’re just making things worse for ourselves.

    domo,

    2000 was settled by 535 votes, 2004 by 10,000 or so…

    Anyways, I was thinking this would be applied on a race-by-race basis. Look at the MN and Alaska Senate races, just for instance.

  67. I would think a few representatives getting elected long enough to get on committees would be a lot. a block of just 2 senators could be extremely powerful. But this is all national level stuff. My property taxes are going up 50% this year because my town expanded it budget with debt by double in 4 years and got taken over by the state. A libertarian Mayor would be far more beneficial to my pocketbook than a LP president – and easier by a factor of a million.

  68. As for TallDave’s idea, crossendorsing is legal in only a few states, notably New York. Most places it isn’t allowed.

    Kevin

  69. I sorta agree with TallDave
    Look how much higher on the ballot the Working Families party is, and they just endorse candidates. At the very least people could vote “Libertarian” for the republican or democratic candidate that we select to endorse and they’d get the message that all those people who voted for them under the “libertarian” name did so because of their beliefs in freedom, etc. It’s sorta a win-win where more people will vote Libertarian because it will allow them to express their opinions without “risking anything” electorily.

  70. and I’m in NY, which would explain why I thought this was a viable idea
    Thanks kevrob

  71. TallDave – you are right – but you have to have a big enough block that your party is recognized to be the deciding factor before the election, during the campaign. That is when you can extract concessions for endorsement.

  72. Why was this if everyone told the pollsters they were furious with the way the country was going and hated the two parties?

    Maybe it was because everyone, including many Reason pundits, were telling us we needed to punish Bush. Which is a stupid reason to vote for Obama, because Bush wasn’t even on the fucking ballot! But there you have it.

  73. domo –
    in NY State the explanation for increased property taxes is like this:
    “We’re getting less state aid”
    Which basically means the state takes your money, and then gives it back out to the cities as it sees fit. This year it sees fit to keep all of it or give it to a different town instead of run up billions of dollars in deficit. But it’s AID! Oh hail that wonderous money that the state “gives” us that “helps” us to operate our cities

  74. Only 13 out of 1000 voters voted for real change [a third-party candidate]

    And only 1 out of every 100,000 news stories even mentioned a third-party candidate. It’s not that most people don’t like the third-party candidates, it’s that most people don’t even know they exist. In light of that, the 1.3% vote total is actually impressive.

    For the LP at least, the ballot access hurdle has mostly been surmounted, and now what we have to deal with is media which consistently crops our candidates out of debate photos as if they weren’t even there.

    I have long advocated a bottom-up media strategy. The NY Times and CNN won’t cover our candidates, but local newspapers, college papers, alt weeklies, local TV, etc. are always thrilled to get access to an actual national Pres. candidate from any party. We should saturate those willing media first, and build enough buzz that the bigger media have to start doing “grassroots phenomenon” stories on us.

  75. Reinmoose – well I live in Jersey, and my town is where political corruption was invented in the NE. Senator Menendez old congressional district… The mayor owns 5 dodgy bars on the mainstreet, which I suspect are used to launder the kickbacks he receives for handing out juicy developer contracts. Everyone knows it and keeps electing the guy. The police are thugs and involved in many ridiculous lawsuits. I live in a liberal dystopic hellhole. But you guys will get it in a few years…

  76. Jim Buckley got elected to the U.S. Senate in 1970 on the Conservative Party ticket. RFK had been killed, and Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, that ur-RINO, appointed Charles Goodell to the seat. Rocky engineered the GOP nod in the election, but New York conservatives weren’t having any, and the Conservatives, a party explicitly created to defeat Rockefeller Republicanism, put up Bill Buckley’s “sainted younger brother.” I remember that when the Suffolk County Republican Committee mailed out the sample ballot that detailed all their candidates, Goodell’s name was blurred out. Jim B won with 38.7% of the vote.

    Could Empire State libertarians draft a candidate to run against Chuck Schumer who was acceptable to a plurality of GOPers in a primary fight, to LPers and to the rump Reformers in the
    Independence Party?

    The LP has used crossendorsement, or electoral fusion to some small success in New Hampshire.

    Kevin

  77. So, Gabe and you other know it alls, which more credible individual should the LP select? Bring Harry Browne back from the dead? David Nolan? Steve Kubby? Badnarik?

    Tell me which one of them could have been in the situation Barr was in and done ANY better.

    And for the record, Paul’s moment has passed. If he ran with the LP in 2012 he wouldn’t even get what Barr got on Tuesday.

  78. Could Ron Paul have ‘run a Nader style campaign and received 2.8 million votes’?
    That’s like the old question…
    “Can God Make a Rock that he cannot move?”
    Ultimately, the answer is “Yes” …and “No”
    All that God needs to do to make a rock he cannot move is make a rock – not a very big one by any means – and then PROMISE not to move it. Because being true to his word – being honest – is an essential attribute of being “GOD” …if he were to move the rock after promising not to …he would no longer be “GOD”.
    Do I believe that Ron Paul could have attracted 2.8 million votes if he had run as a 3rd party candidate?
    That depends…
    If Ron Paul had not already promised NOT to run a 3rd party campaign as required of all candidates for the presidency (so as to assure their access to the ballots in the primaries)… then, YES, I’m confident he would have received at least 2.8 million votes …he may have even WON!
    But Ron Paul DID have to engage in this Faustian Bargain in order to play with the Republican Mephistopheles and gain access to that devil’s ballot.
    At the end of the day, Ron Paul’s greatest asset is his honesty, his character and the well deserved reputation that follows from that. Had Ron Paul broken his promise to the G.O.P. he would have lost votes because the G.O.P. could have pointed out that he had broken his word.
    The G.O.P. has deprived itself and all of us of the benefit of seeing the most honorable statesman of our generation – or several previous to it – assume the Office of the President.

    In Liberty!,

    James Hines

  79. We shall never be free until this country elects a vertically-challenged, person of signficant weight.

  80. Someone asked why Ron Paul didn’t run third party. He legally could not do this. There was some stipulation that if he ran as a Republican, he could not run for any other party. I have no idea why this is so. Could someone explain this?

  81. Bob Barr’s complain from Ron Paul’s resser rings true:

    “Bob Barr’s complaint from Ron Paul’s dresser”?

    “Hey, you said you’d put me in your cabinet, not your dresser!”

  82. TallDave | November 6, 2008, 4:02pm | #
    As one of the Chosen 490,689 I would like just like to point out that unless you cast a protest vote in a safe state you are actually voting against your favored policies.

    So, uhh, which of the two major party candidates is calling for the repeal of the Controlled Substances Act and a reversal of administrative overreach? Yeah, those “favored policies” are the ones I’m talking about.

  83. Someone asked why Ron Paul didn’t run third party. He legally could not do this. There was some stipulation that if he ran as a Republican, he could not run for any other party. I have no idea why this is so. Could someone explain this?

    In short: it is not true.

    See this for details.

  84. What the LP needs is a candidate who is three things:

    1) Reasonable
    2) Presentable
    3) Very Wealthy, and willing to self-fund to the tune of quite a few million.

  85. The NY Times and CNN won’t cover our candidates..

    That’s not true, you sniveling whiner. CNN has had respectful interviews with Barr and Nader, and had Ron Paul on even after the racist newsletter revelations. It’s not media neglect, it’s your fucking stupid candidates, idiot.

  86. What the LP needs is a candidate who is three things:

    1) Reasonable
    2) Presentable
    3) Very Wealthy, and willing to self-fund to the tune of quite a few million.

    Yeah, forget the actual content of the political message. Hell, you have good looks and enough money, and you can get people to eat dog shit.

  87. Lefiti,
    Question: You spend an inordinate amount of time coming here to give us your opinion on how pathetic we are, how stupid, how deluded, etc. What does it say about you that you have nothing else to do? Especially since most people here don’t even respond. I will now ignore your posts.

  88. Browne ’96 .5%
    Browne ’00 .4%
    Badnarik ’04 .35%
    Barr ’08 .4%
    The 3rd party idea has been falsified — found wanting.

    Look up the 1992 election, or Ross Perot. With a reasonably qualified candidate and enough money, a third party could do very well. Perot might have won (he was leading in the polls at one point), if he hadn’t acted paranoid in dropping out and then re-entering the race.

    Who knew then that his rantings about “Republican dirty tricks” weren’t paranoid at all, just standard operating procedure for the GOP.

  89. Another possible presidential contender: Mark Cuban. He’s loaded, and was rumored to be a Ron Paul supporter….

  90. As much as I would have loved to have seen Ron Paul continue as a third-party candidate, it wasn’t really possible. A dozen states and/or state GOPs, including Texas, have “sore loser” laws/rules that prevent the loser in a primary from running for the same office in the general election.

    Though, honestly, I think it would have been better for him to go ahead and fight those laws. By allowing his campaign to end with a confused whimper he really threw away a lot of potential. The people he energized will still be out there when someone else comes along, but at this point it’s very unlikely they’ll be any organizational continuity between Ron Paul’s campaign and whoever the next Great Libertarian Hope is.

  91. THE REAL TRUTH IS:

    THE JEWISH NEW YORK MEDIA DID THEIR JOB….COMPLETELY CONTROL ANOTHER ELECTION.
    THEY WERE SCARED SHITLESS BY NORMAL AMERICANS VOTING-IN RON PAUL, WHO THREATENED THEIR CONTROL OF MOST THINGS IN AMERICA. THEY CLOAKED HIM TO DEATH. HE WOULD HAVE BEATEN OBAMA IN A RACE, ONLY MADE TIGHT BY THE HUGE NUMBER OF MIGRANT (NEW YORKS NEW CONSTITUENT POWER)VOTES.

    SO….THEY GAVE AMERICA “HOBSON’S CHOICE” (LOOK IT UP). A YOUNGISH BLACK VERSUS A BUSH-LIKE REPUBLICAN BAD GUY. A SHOO-IN FOR OBAMA, GIVEN REPUBLICAN WARS OF AGRESSION.

    THEN THEY HAD A GOOD LAUGH….A CHORUS GIRL WITH MR. BOMB-BOMB….AND ANOTHER DEMOCRAT POLITICAL HACK, TO STEP IN IF OBAMA GETS TOASTED WHILE IN OFFICE. A “WIN-WIN” FOR THE NEW YORK MOB.

    THE VOTES CAST FOR McCAIN WERE FROM WHITE AMERICANS, WHO KNOW WHAT’S COMING.

    AND IT BEGAN TODAY!!! ANOTHER WHITE HOUSE RUN BY A THOROUGHLY JEWISH GUY. HOW PREDICTABLE.
    OBVIOUS, UNABASHED PAYOFF. AND ANOTHER PUPPET PRESIDENT ELECTED. HOW DEMOCRATIC CAN YOU GET?

    THE SHEEPLE LOSE ANOTHER ONE….AND MEXICANS WILL BECOME BIGGER THAN EVER, AS THE NEW YORK JEWISH LOBBY DRAWS WHITEY’S STRINGS TIGHTER.

    AND THE PALESTINIANS TAKE ANOTHER GUT-PUNCH.

  92. WE KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE, DEKKO.

  93. Although Barr’s raw vote total was the LP’s second-best showing in a Presidential contest, he trailed three other candidates in percentage won: Ed Clark in 1980, Ron Paul in 1988 and Harry Browne in 1996. See my article “Crash & Burn” linked above for more details. Just click on my byline.

  94. Barr’s showing was probably a vindication for the “purists.” His standing as a former congressman got him some additional media coverage (I doubt Mary Ruwart could have gotten on the NewsHour), but that didn’t really translate into that many new votes. In presidential elections, Libertarians have been stuck between .3% and .5%, so the purists will make the argument, “Hey, we’re not crossing one percent either way, just let us go nuts.”

  95. “Hey, we’re not crossing one percent either way, just let us go nuts.”

    … and I guess, ultimately, it’s more fun that way so why the hell not.

  96. So, uhh, which of the two major party candidates is calling for the repeal of the Controlled Substances Act and a reversal of administrative overreach? Yeah, those “favored policies” are the ones I’m talking about.

    That’s just the problem: part of the reason almost no major-party candidate will espouse such an idea is that they know the people who will vote for that are voting Libertarian anyway. We create a disincentive for major parties to adopt our positions.

  97. TallDave – you are right – but you have to have a big enough block that your party is recognized to be the deciding factor before the election, during the campaign. That is when you can extract concessions for endorsement.

    Yep. Hopefully we can get the Ls up to around 5%. That would make us a critical swing segment.

  98. “Finally, I note that, as results continue to stream in, Barr is now credited by CSPAN/AP with 491,945 votes. When all the counting and recounting is done, the chances for topping 500,000 look good.” -Me, on November 6.

    The votes keep dribbling in. Now CSPAN/AP has Barr at 497,042. 500K is so close we can taste it: Perhaps by tomorrow or Monday. How much did Bob spend on his campaign? A couple of million? That would be around $4 per vote. As I recall, Ed Clark spent around 3.6M for almost 1M votes, roughly $3.60 per vote. But after factoring in inflation since Clark’s 1980 run, he spent $9.56 in 2008 dollars per vote. Barr’s candidacy may thus have been “more efficient” than Clark’s by a ratio of over 2-to-1. Now look at the overall election this year. I heard someone on the news the other night say that over $1B had been spent on the Presidential campaign during this election season (I don’t know whether that included the primaries). Looking at the vote totals so far for McCain and Obama, figuring another 1.5M for alternative candidates, and dividing the grand total into $1B gives me almost exactly $8 spent per vote cast in the general election. Even if he spent a lot more than I think he did, Barr and his campaign certainly got much better than average electoral bang for the buck than either of the Big Two.

    When all the dust has cleared and we have a better idea of final vote totals and spending on behalf of those candidates who survived into the general election, I think I will revisit this exercise, to get a more definitive “bang for buck” ratio, unless the hotshots at Reason beat me to it!

  99. Weigel’s negative bias towards Paul shows once again. Hey Weigel, continue driving down reason magazine’s circulation numbers, relevance and financing. You may be out of a job sooner than you think…. And you cannot even state facts precisely…where did you get your “journalistic credentials” again? It really must bother you that Paul is now as relevant as ever, with people like Neil Cavuto describing him as a “genius” and support from all sides. His voice in the GOP will now be louder than ever. You obviously failed to notice the third party vote of Paul supporters in a few senate and congressional races. In Minnesota Dean Barkley – highly supportive of Paul – managed to get 15% plus – heavily underfunded – in the high stakes titanic battle between Coleman and Franken for senate. The other Independence Party candidates also fared quite well, one in district 6 Anderson got 10% (and he was not even officially endorsed by the Independence Party) in the Bachman-Tinklenberg battle. Your ill-fated try to disassociate Paul from BJ Lawson the other day, Weigel, is also quite pathetic and inaccurate. BJ Lawson was inspired by Paul and very much follows him with most/all. You obviously do not consider how many Paul supporters simply did not vote, how many Democrats were waiting for Paul to receive the GOP nomination, as they would prefer Paul over Obama on the basis of consistency in policy and guts. Also, I do not see how Ralph Nader made any racist comment, he used perhaps the wrong word with “talking white”, but he meant the appeal to the poor, and he is 100% right with that. You are probably of those PC people that would consider Berlosconi’s recent remarks also as “racist”, e.g. unable to catch or understand Italian humor.

    Many African-Americans are going to be disappointed with Obama, especially those that think Obama will pay for their gas and rent (see youtube videos). You also fail to mention that of all the Republican candidates, Paul managed to attract the most African-Americans in the primaries. He also endorsed and worked together with Barb Davis White, who also spoke at the Rally for the Republic. Did you see any African-American speak at the RNC?

    The campaign for liberty has only gotten started and it will become a dominant force, especially with its appeal to the youth.

  100. Hello??

    Am I missing something here? Not one single comment mentioning Vote Count Fraud messing with the numbers?

    Oh, come on, you couldn’t have forgotten so soon. Screen shots of a few states were captured in the primaries where Ron Paul’s numbers actually went backwards — several hours later ending up with less than he started with.

    If you think tampering with the Diebold software and vote counting was blatant in the primaries… I don’t believe those numbers for one minute. As far as Nader, Ron Paul and Chuck Baldwin are concerned, I would at least triple those scores.

  101. I wrote in Ron Paul in CA, just like I said I would in my letter to America:

    http://www.JoeSixPack.me

  102. “I’d say something like this plus his racial attacks on Barack Obama”

    Good grief! What the heck are you talking about? Can Reason write anything that doesn’t include Cultural Marxist PC grandstanding? Are we also going to be told Nader was an anti-Semite because he commented on the Israel lobby?

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